25 February 2010

Photos from the 2010 Baring Head Bouldering Competition

A few photos from the competition on Saturday 20 Feb. Conditions were similar to last year — sunny, hot and very windy; about as difficult as it gets for this kind of photography, and not helped by the time of day (I started photographing shortly after 11 a.m.).

Enough excuses! These are some of the better shots. Please feel free to comment (courteously, of course), and you’re welcome to email me (the address can be found on my profile page). If you notice errors in the captions, please let me know.

I may post a few more photos some time during the next couple of weeks, but no promises. If you like the look of these, you might also like to check out my photoblog and my primary blog. Cheers!

Steve Minchin wishes he’d worked harder on his yoga. 

Tomasz Swinarski working one of the harder problems on the long wall. Conrad Murray works hard on a V6 super-low traverse (No. 28) …

… negotiates some tricky moves ...

… and latches the final hold.

Daniel Perrott starts out on a successful ascent of the classic V6 problem, Love Bite. The focusing on the camera failed just as Dan reached the top of the climb :^(

Ewan Sinclair going strong on Chris ‘n’ Cosy (I think) 

Ewan reaching high on Chris ‘n’ Cosy

… and Pete Allison doing the same.

Steve Minchin focuses on the crux of a V1.

Jonny tops out on a V0 while an unidentified climber makes it to the top of Split Apple rock.

Tomasz on that difficult problem on the long wall, ably spotted by Ben.

Ewan on that wall again, demonstrating his flexibility.

  Photos and words copyright Pete McGregor 2010

09 March 2009

Photos from the 2009 Baring Head Bouldering Competition

Geometry of a V6

I've been up to my eyeballs in contract work for the last several weeks — hence the delay in posting photos from this year's competition.

Rain meant the event had to be postponed from its usual Saturday slot to the Sunday (22 February). It also meant all the chalk markings from a few days before had been washed away, so Ivan and Dave had to get out to the Head early and rush around madly remarking the problems. Fortunately, Sunday proved dry and clear, although windy — in fact, windy enough to make me, well, er, windy about balancing delicately on top of some of my favourite photo spots. Being buffeted by savage gusts isn't a good feeling when one's leaning well out over a significant fall, trying to get a good angle for a shot of someone climbing from below. Moreover, the mostly clear, sunny sky meant difficult battles with extreme contrast. Oh well, enough excuses. Here are a few photos, which I hope you'll enjoy. They're mostly straight from Lightroom — i.e. little or no tweaking in Photoshop.

I failed to catch up with everyone I photographed, so please spread the word and invite the models to contact me (email link below my photo in the sidebar) if they're not comfortable about being famous on the web.

Ivan marking problemsRegistration

[L]: Ivan chalking up problems; [R]: Registration.

V6 Sit startNeil Parker in action

[L]: Climbing legend Neil Parker in action; [R]: One of the joint winners of the expert male category in action on the new and popular V6, sitting start problem on the Entrance Way boulders.

V3 traverseIvan marking problems

[L]: Ivan still marking out problems; [R]: A popular V3 traverse on the North end of the West Wall.

Not feeling JadedAction on the Entrance Way

[L]: Action on the Entrance Way; [R]: Not sure who he was, but he won the Junior Male category. He was astonishingly good.

Hands are importantSpot slave makes a bid for freedom

[L]: The Spot Slave makes a break for freedom; [R]: Hands are important, especially on V6 problems.

Dave on a Long Wall problem

Dave tries a problem on the Long Wall, opposite the Lean To Rock. It might have been the classic Love Bite (V6), but I'm not sure.

That's all I have time for right now. I'll post more (lots still to go) as I get the chance, so keep checking in, or subscribe to the feed in the sidebar. Feel free to leave a comment!

Photos and words copyright Pete McGregor 2009

04 March 2008

Blogger problem fixed

Apologies to those who visited and wondered about the strange snippets of text scattered among the photos. I wondered too, after returning from a few days in the Ruahine to find that the bulk of the text had seemingly disappeared, leaving only the hyperlinks and photos floating in an inky void.

It seems in the last few days the people at Blogger did something which stuffed up text colours on some blogs, including Baring Head Bouldering and Pohanginapete. At least I could still read the latter, as the font colour had changed from black to white; however, here the font had changed from white to black, and black text on a black background is rather hard to read.

After a few hours of investigating and fiddling with HTML I figured out how to fix it.

Thanks for your patience. As compensation for reading this, here's a photo of Terezka Kejdanova in action on the back of the Long Wall. Terezka placed 2nd in the Expert Female category at Baring Head.

Featured comment:
Emma said... "Erm. Not to be greedy, but how about compensation in the form of another fella? ;o)"
Right, here y'go Emma. Craig Jefferies in action on Split Apple Rock. This must be what you're after... :^P (Apologies, Craig)

Craig Jefferies, Split Apple traverse

Photos and words © 2008 Pete McGregor

26 February 2008

Photos from the 2008 Rock Hop (NBS)

The 2008 Baring Head Rock Hop, the second event in the National Bouldering Series, took place on Saturday 23 February. Light drizzle early in the morning eased to warm, overcast weather for the first couple of hours of the competition, then to a hot afternoon with patchy, light cloud — the first photo gives a fair indication of conditions during much of the event.

John Palmer won the "Expert Male" category ahead of stiff competition from youngsters like James Morris and Zac Orme; Amie Jones won the "Expert Female" category. Full results should be posted shortly on the NBS website.

This is a selection of a great many more photos; unfortunately I have neither the time nor the bandwidth to post everything of interest. Everything's copyrighted by me, but if you want to use any of the photos, just drop me an email (pohanginapete AT yahoo DOT co DOT nz).

Click on the smaller photos to enlarge them. Clicking the larger photos will just give you a same-size view of that photo alone.

Finally, if you notice any mistakes, particularly with the names of people and climbs, and with grades, please let me know so I can correct them.

Update, 29 Feb '08: Results have now been posted on the NBS site, as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet (you can't view them without downloading the file). I suspect one error: "Pete Hegasfitter" is, I assume, Peter Bartholomew (a.k.a "Pete the gasfitter") (see him in action in the second full-width photo below). If so, Pete would currently be in 5th place in the series, rather than 24th and 29th.

Action on the Long WallAction on the Long Wall.

Roland Foster on 'Fat Men Can't Jump'Roland Foster on 'Fat Men Can't Jump'

Roland Foster on Fat Men Can't Jump (V5); James Morris spotting on the left.

Pete-the-gasfitter on Split Apple Rock
Pete-the-gasfitter (Pete Bartholomew) on the low traverse of Split Apple Rock (V4).

Near Split Apple RockNeil Parker in action near Split Apple Rock

[L]: Neil Parker in action near Split Apple Rock; [R]: (That's Nick Brown testing holds in the background.)

Matt Bayliss, Roland Foster, & James Morris checking out 'A Show of Strength'Dave Kopp working hard[L]: Matt Bayliss, Roland Foster, & James Morris checking out A Show of Strength (V8); [R]: Dave Kopp working hard.

Roland Foster sends V5
Roland Foster sends V5.

Bits of Roland on 'A Show of Strength'Roland Foster sends V5

[L]: The top half of Roland (on that V5); [R]: the other half of Roland.

John Palmer tongue flagging on a successful send of 'A Show of Strength'
"Expert Male"* winner John Palmer tongue flagging on a successful send of 'A Show of Strength'.
* Yes indeed — that's what the category's called.

Roland Foster & James Morris discuss the moves on 'A Show of Strength'James Morris sends the legendary 'A Show of Strength'

James Morris and Roland Foster discuss the moves on A Show of Strength, before James sent it. He reckoned he touched an out-of-bounds hold at the top, so wouldn't claim the send, but everyone who saw it realised he'd made the climb harder — after touching it he went back down and finished it on the correct holds. If he didn't claim it, he should have.

James Morris sends 'A Show of Strength'Roland cleans the top holds on 'A Show of Strength'

[L]: James near the top of A Show of Strength; [R]: Roland cleaning the holds.

Emma Hawke starts out on the low traverse of Split Apple Rock
Emma Hawke starts out on the low traverse of Split Apple Rock.

Bevan Hadler on 'Fat Men Can't Jump'
Bevan Hadler on 'Fat Men Can't Jump'

Bevan Hadler starts out on 'Fat Men Can't Jump' (V5).

John Palmer tops out on 'Chris & Cozy'
[L]: John Palmer tops out on Chris & Cosy (V7); [R]: Zac Orme attempts it...

Kristen Foley photographs the action
... and Kristen Foley photographs it, as James Morris gets ready.

Tomasz Swinarski sends the low traverse of Split Apple RockTomasz Swinarski sends the low traverse of Split Apple Rock
Tomasz Swinarski sends the low traverse of Split Apple Rock
Tomasz Swinarski finally gets the last hold on the low traverse of Split Apple Rock.

Romaric Vincent on Split Apple RockRomaric Vincent on Split Apple RockFrench climber Romaric Vincent (now resident in Palmerston North) on Split Apple Rock.

What it's all about?

Pete on Split Apple dynoCallum Kennedy on Split Apple traverse

[L]: Pete Bartholomew demonstrates how to get set for the Split Apple Dyno (after having just done it — wearing shoes, though...); [R]: Event organiser Callum Kennedy enjoys the traverse of Split Apple Rock.

? on traverse on the Only-the-Good=Die-Young Wall? on traverse on the Only-the-Good=Die-Young Wall

Terezka Kejdanova traverses the Only The Good Die Young Wall. That's Bevan looking on.

John Palmer sends 'Love Bite'
[L]: John Palmer and [R]: Dave Kopp on Love Bite (V6).

Emma Hawke traversing Split Apple Rock
Emma Hawke on the low traverse of Split Apple Rock (V4).

Bevan Hadler, Split Apple TraverseCraig Jefferies, Split Apple Traverse

[L]: Craig Jefferies and [R]: Bevan Hadler going well on the Split Apple traverse.

Nick Brown on Split Apple traverseBob on a V5
[L]: Bob Keegan on a V5; [R]: Nick Brown puts in the effort on the traverse of Split Apple Rock.

Roland Foster on 'Fat men can't jump'Roland Foster on 'Fat men can't jump'
Roland Foster sets off on Fat Men Can't Jump.

Zac Orme checks he still has fingertipsZac Orme on something ridiculous

[L]: Zac Orme tries something even John Palmer couldn't climb*, and [R]: subsequently checks whether he still has fingertips.
* Well, JP did seem fairly climbed-out by then. Still, whatever it was, it was hard. Very hard. He (JP) couldn't even get off the starting holds (nor could Zac) If anyone knows the name and/or grade, please let me know (I think it was climb no. 34).
Update: JP tells me it was Tango With the Tumbleweeds — "only" V7. But 28°C and the best part of 5 hours of climbing probably doubles the effective grade.

Zac OrmeRoland Foster

Different generations; both excellent climbers: [L]: Roland Foster; [R]: Zac Orme.

Bevan HadlerJohn Palmer[L]: John Palmer, "Expert Male" winner, wondering whether his fingertips will allow him to climb just one more problem; [R]: Bevan Hadler, possibly wondering about the same thing.

Emma Hawke and the unknown handEmma Hawke and the unknown hand.

Photos and words © 2008 Pete McGregor